Testing & Test Management in SAP Technical Upgrade

A+ A-



Testing & Test Management is the most crucial phase in any upgrade project if not managed well will lead to serious consequences for the Business users to move on to upgrade the Production landscape. My focus here is more on SAP Technical upgrade from SAP 4.6C to ECC 6.


There are multiple articles available online as to why customer would go for Technical/Functional upgrade; I am not focusing on this part.


Horrific situation would be then when you release that the issue of upgrade once you moved on to production where it is most expensive to fix so it’s vital to plan and manage Testing very early into upgrade phase.


More focus should be given during the Test Planning than the actual execution. Major phases of testing during a typical Technical upgrade project can be as below:


  • Unit Testing by Developers/Functional team
  • System Testing
  • Integration testing
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • Sanity check of critical Business processes (Before Upgrade on Production)



Challenges encountered in Testing & Test Management in Upgrade are covered below:


  • Most challenging question is identifying the right Test scope for a technical upgrade, what should be tested and what can be typically left out of the scope due to Timeline challenges. Hence it becomes essential to use Risk Based Test approach where testing is purely based on prioritization
    and business impact & criticality.
  • Key is to ensure that whatever was working on Lower release in our case SAP 4.6C should work in upgraded system aswell inour case ECC 6  
  • Testing should focus on below areas:
    • Critical Business processes which are important from the Business user perspective
    • Testing of Standard transactions (most used) & custom transactions which are not part of the Integration scope identified
    • Critical reports (month end, year-end)
    • Critical Interfaces (XI, XML, PI , Inbound, Outbound) to ensure that the interfaces still work on the upgraded system – Connectivity test
    • Authorization Testing
    • Vital printouts (soft or the hard copy) in different languages to ensure the layout and display of characters in different languages  
  • Setting up the Test environment on which testing needs to be carried out is also vital as this system should be as close as possible to Production system
  • Ensure that the systems on which the test execution is planned (Sandbox system, Development and Quality system) are the latest copies of the Production system, too old a copy will raise questions on the credibility of Testing  
  • Identifying the right set of Test data or the Test data management is also the key as testing can be performed in multiple permutations & combinations but choosing those sets of data which matches to production data(scrambled) and ensuring its suitability is generally  performed by Business users
  • Best practice is to carry out atleast 2 cycles of Test execution one of Sandbox, Quality and on Development system where developers can carry-out the Unit testing of the touched /modified/impacted objects during the upgrade. 
  • If Test scope involves Test case writing make sure older release(here 4.6C)  quality system  is used as base for test case writing as we will know pre-existing issues in the older release of the system which reoccur again on the upgraded system.
  • Defect Management should also be clearly defined and also fix resolution should also be clear. Resolution responsibilities for functional, technical defects and resolution of pre-existing defects to be well planned.  
  • Defect fixes should move in to systems as transports. Transport management for the defect resolution should be well planned based on the priority of the defects, emergency fixes needs to be provided for show stoppers and retesting should be planned based on this.
  • Solution Manager can be used for the overall Test Management starting from Test case writing where the test cases can be uploaded and Test Plans and packages can be created for Test execution, Defect management can also be setup in solution manager for failed test cases and finally reporting can be done from here aswell.


Hope it helps.